Monthly Archives: September 2011
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
At $5.99 for the ebook download, I really expected a novel instead of a short story. I can’t even call it a novella — it was that short.
The story was interesting and I did enjoy the read, but I have to say it was missing some of the dark sparks I expect from Mr. King. Not so much a disappointment for me, as just *meh, it was okay*
Hoping the novel due out in November has more of what I read Stephen King novels for, originality and dark twist you dont see coming.
I found this in my web trolling today and thought I would share in case anyone out there was interested. If you do submit, I would love to hear about your success (or failures) and your impressions of the publisher. I have not worked with them.
I’d thought about doing something for this, since I LOVE FANTASY — however I have made myself a vow that I shall start no new projects until both of my current WIP’s are complete (hopefully before the end of 2011).
Anyway, here is the information:
Writers call for submissions: Kingdoms of Desire: Erotic Tales of Fantasy – an anthology edited by Mitzi Szereto To be published by Cleis Press in autumn 2012.
Kingdoms of Desire: Erotic Tales of Fantasy is a place where lust and legend abound, and adventure, passion and danger entwine. Think mystical lands and creatures, kings and queens, knights and renegades, heroes and villains, warlords, maidens and princesses. Think battles and danger, honor and dishonor, good and evil. Most of all think hearts filled with passion and secret desire. This is a place where romantic chivalry is alive and well, but so too is romantic wickedness. This is a place where the good do not always win, and the bad are often more captivating and desirable than their altruistic counterparts. In these lush and timeless landscapes, the battle for flesh can be as important as the battle for power. Intrigue, sorcery, revenge, lawlessness, dark secrets and mysterious elixirs; entanglements with supernatural beings – everything is possible in these magical mythical landscapes. Think Game of Thrones and you get the picture!
Word count: 3,000 to 6,000 words.
What I’m looking for: Well-developed story lines and well-crafted prose told in a unique voice and containing interesting characters and settings. Think atmosphere, passion, desire… imaginative steamy tales that transport the reader to fantastical realms. Stories from female and male writers are welcome, as are stories containing characters of any sexual orientation.
Note: Although sexually explicit content is acceptable as well as a more subtle approach, absolutely no stock sex scenes or formulaic writing/terminology. Please refer to my previous anthologies (especially Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance) to get an idea of the variety and style of content I look for. Even though the stories need to have a strong element of eroticism and sensuality to them, I do not want stories that are one-dimensional sex stories or smut. The erotic element is an important part of the story, but it should not be the sole basis for the story or a replacement for plot and character development.
No reprints (be it print, digital, or online). Original fiction only.
Payment: One-time payment in the range of USD $50-70 (payable on publication) and 2 copies of the anthology.
Submission requirements: Stories must be formatted as follows: double-spaced Arial 12-point black font Word or RTF document (sent as an attachment). Indent the first line of each paragraph by half an inch. Do not add extra lines between paragraphs or irregular spacing between words. American spelling and punctuation only (i.e. quote marks, etc). Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable), postal address, and a fifty-word maximum author bio written in the third person. Contract is for one-time, non-exclusive anthology rights with one year’s exclusivity from date of publication. (This may be waived if your story is selected for a “Best Of” collection).
No simultaneous submissions please.
In the subject line of your email, please state: Kingdoms of Desire
Send to: submissions @ mitziszereto.com
Submission deadline: December 15, 2011. (Stories will be read on an on-going basis, so early submissions are highly encouraged.) I look forward to reading your work!
About Mitzi Szereto: Mitzi Szereto is an author of erotic and multi-genre fiction and non-fiction, an anthology editor, blogger for her own blog “Errant Ramblings,” and creator/presenter for the web TV channel Mitzi TV (http://mitziszereto.com/tv), which covers quirky London. Her published titles include Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance; Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts; In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales; Getting Even: Revenge Stories; Dying For It: Tales Of Sex & Death; Wicked: Sexy Tales Of Legendary Lovers; The New Black Lace Book Of Women’s Sexual Fantasies; the Erotic Travel Tales anthology series; and The World’s Best Sex Writing 2005. A pioneer of erotic writing workshops in the UK and Europe and lecturer in creative writing at several British universities, she’s been featured internationally in publications and broadcast media. Her anthology Erotic Travel Tales 2 is the first anthology of erotica to feature a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After delving into the world of the Hathaway pack this summer with Ms. Belfield’s Darkness and Light (gave it 4.5 stars in my Goodreads review at the time),I was anxious to dive into Sean’s head and get his perspective on one of the pivotal scenes in the novel — the first time Jem “scents” Sean at a local shopping center. I have to say I wasn’t disappointed in the least.
Fated Encounter takes us with Sean as he runs an errand for his (quite hot) demanding brother, Ethan. Without knowing why, Sean drives past a few stores to visit one in particular. The one where Jem is shopping. I found the touches of awkward male humor refreshing and thought Ms. Belfield gave Sean added dimensions here that we didn’t get in Darkness and Light.
While the story is a “mini” and meant to be short, I was disappointed to find I had come to the ending when I got there. Even having read the novel and knowing what the scene entailed, I was thoroughly entertained throughout.
I guess if I had one negative comment to make, I would say that I was put off slightly by the way Sean’s emotions and reactions always seemed to be happening to him and he only reacting — he almost felt like a bystander in his own body in some places.
A nice, fun read and an excellent companion to the Darkness and Light novel– or any of the stories Ms. Belfield may have in mind for the Hathaway pack. Yummy *winks*
Here is this week’s six for Six Sentence Sunday. Comments always welcome. 🙂
Ellie glanced over her shoulder, made a quick distance calculation. Her gaze swung up the rigging. She yanked on the steerage, eyes glued to the sails. Right on cue, the sheets of white canvas caught wind and snapped to attention. The ship sliced through the waves in a tight arc until The Surf Runner faced The Siren’s Call.
She steeled herself for another pass.
I share the bad news when it comes, so I thought I should also share the good news as well. Only fair, right?
I received an email yesterday that one of my flash (less than 500 words) stories, Parades, has been accepted for inclusion in Daily Flash 2012: 366 Days of Flash Fiction (Leap Year Edition) being published by Pill Hill Press. This is a “for the love” collection, so no monetary payment or free copy, but it will be released in paperback and ebook formats somewhere around Nov. 2011.
I will keep you all posted as things progress and let you all know where you can get copies when it is actually published.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Quite an eclectic mix of tales. Everything from the super steamy to the super strange. With so many stories of such a wide variety of heat levels and plots, I thought it best to approach each story individually rather than try to capture an overall sense. It took me a bit to get to each of the stories, but I am hoping the detailed review will be worth the extra effort. I am posting this particular review in two parts, as there are ALOT of stories to get to.
My Soul to Take (Stella Berkley): Dark, gritty and modern — not to mention, oh so naughty. The vibrant characters really jumped off the page, and despite the physical unusualness of the male lead character, the sex was smoking hot and really well written. This one was a winner and made it clear why the editor chose to open the anthology with this tale. Nothing like a story that gets you hot and freaks you out all at the same time. Sophie, a drug addict looking for her next fix runs into Balan and sells her soul for more of what he’s selling. 5 stars on this one. Hot and the visuals gave me the willies.
For The Love of Death (Deb Eskie): One of the shorter tales in the book, this one lost me just a little bit. After the strong active voice of the first tale, the passive narrative and lack of erotic punch of this one stuck out a bit to me. The ending had a nice twisted feel to it, but I would have liked a bit more mystery. It read predictable to me. 2.75 stars here – wasn’t enough horror or erotica for me and I didn’t really like being on the outside looking in.
The Real Girl (Robert S Tyler): While this story didn’t exactly get me hot and bothered, I enjoyed it all the same. I felt this story had a more “Twilight Zone” sort of feel than a terror thing–and I was always a huge fan of that show. The story of a porn peruser whose wish to experience a girl he finds online comes true — but perhaps not quite in the way he expects. 3.5 stars to this story – well written just not enough steam or “terror” for my liking. It’s erotic horror, afterall.
Yve Redeemed (Lila Shaw): I thought the story behind this one was just great. A new twist on the succubus theme. Combine this with a first person perspective, and I was sucked right in. I loved Yve’s personality — gotta love a strong female character, even if she is technically just a slave. Nicely written, hot sex without being completely over the top, and a dash of romance. What more can you ask for? 5 stars here. Just a great, entertaining short story.
Top of the Food Chain (Gustavo Bondoni): I was pleasantly surprised to get this far into the book before hitting a vampire tale. I had figured it a quite obvious theme for erotic horror? I mean who doesn’t think bites are sexy? Okay, so now you know it is a vampire tale, and I won’t spoil it further by delving any further into the meat of the well crafted plot than that. I will say that I just loved this tale. It had great erotic elements, disturbed and slightly angered me, and I felt satisfied at the ending. 5 stars here. Entertained, smooth read, good steam.
Daddy’s Little Feminist (Maxine Marsh): This story took me a bit to really get a feel for. At first it reads a bit like a public service announcement against porn. For an erotica story, maybe not the best idea to somewhat alienate your readership before the story even gets going. (Okay, my guilt might have a little something to do with being raised catholic) Once the story gets moving, I did find the plot to be interesting, but it never really sucked me in. This story had some BDSM elements, which I did like, but I didn’t like that the whole D/s thing was packaged as the evil — the horror. I mean, sure, there is a killer in the story, but we only find that out because we are told. We dont get to go on that ride with the characters. I’ll give this one 3 stars — some nice erotic scenes, but way too much moral lesson for my tastes.
Only Fools Rush In (Seeley Andrews): This one was an interesting story. The sex was rather run of the mill and nothing that got my juices flowing or anything like that, but the horror twist was a cute interpretation of the erotic horror theme. I read alot, so I knew where it was going long before we actually got there, but the story gets an E for effort. 3 stars — a bit predictable, but a well written story that checked all the right boxes.
The Shaman From The Deep (Christopher Heath): This story does get immediate points from me (a fan of the fantasy genre) for being a fantasy fable of sorts. Like the retelling of a story told before campfires for centuries, passed down from one generation to the next. That in itself set it apart from the other stories to this point. What started as excitement, turned to disappointment when I learned that despite the nice touches of horror in the story and the darkness of the fable, it was devoid of any real sex acts. I’m trying not to spoil plots — but the one sex act in the story was a total of two sentences long — if you blink, you will miss it. 3 stars for this one — some great elements, nice horror, but no erotica to be found here.
Some Bad Decisions (C.D. Reimer): I’m not a big fan of a passive narrative voice in a story, especially shorter length works, so this story didn’t pull me in like some of the others. Alot more uses of “was” and “were” then appeals to me as a reader, but rather than skip the story, I trudged ahead in the interest of a full review of the anthology. That being said, I did enjoy the uniqueness of the MC in this story. An albino prostitute — now that is interesting. Once the story got going, I found the plot interesting and the horror elements entertaining. Again, I didn’t really get any feel for the erotica — having sex in a story does not erotica make. 3.5 stars here — some strong horror elements, albeit somewhat predictable, but not enough erotica for my tastes.
Similar Interests (T.C. Clark): This story was intriguing, active voice and strong descriptions. While I didn’t “like” the MC — I was drawn into his experience and the story. Once again, however, the erotic elements were missing for me. The horror elements were good, and well written, but the sex was written like “they had sex and then” so there was no detail in the act, we are just told it happens. Not something I look for in erotica — soft romance, sure. The ending, for me, was predictable, and while I do consider it a horror story, despite the “tame” ending, it never hit on erotica for me. 3 stars – good story, no erotica.
The Rabbit’s Revenge (L.M. Doyle): For the first F/F story in the mix, I had high expectations for this story. While the writing was a combination of passive and active voice and there were some areas that tripped me up reading (some use of present tense wording in a past tense telling, and some overuse of adverbs, and a more tell vs show style), I did enjoy the plot and the overall story elements. The erotic part of the story was good, detailed and piqued my curiosity. The ending, however, had been foretold during the course of the story too well, so when the time came for the big climax – literally – the reader already knew what was going to happen, and it was just a matter of reading it through to make sure the story followed through on the promise it had been making throughout. 3.5 stars for this one. It gets points for originality in being a F/F story, while containing both erotica and horror. It loses some points for a passive telling and a forecasted conclusion. By the end, I was sorta feeling “get it over with, already”.
My Autoerotic Doom (Joshua Dobson): Let me start by saying that this particular story may have had the strongest starting sentence of the whole bunch. It’s too bad it is closely followed by the most inane list of sexual acts — over the top to my thinking and showing the writer’s obvious wide array of positional knowledge seemed to be the only benefit. The story could have done without it. It read like it had been added for shock value and cheapened the rest of the story for me. The writing style of this one can only be described as blunt and explicit. I did find the story, once I got past all that shock value language, quite entertaining and the Twilight Zone feel to the horror story really appealed to me. The erotica was titillating enough to keep me interested, though I do tend to like a bit less gutter talk. 4.5 stars because despite really enjoying the story, I didn’t care for the narrative voice or the main character.
Be My Valentine (Indy McDaniel): This story turned out to be another F/F story. I had some difficultly with early POV shifts, sometimes mid paragraph. That and some passive narrative, made it a bit tough to get into this story from the onset. I found myself scanning the tale versus reading it – the kiss of death for any story. I felt the author tried to hard in some of the dialog, and it came off forced. When the sex came, that too read forced and plastic. About the only thing I enjoyed a bit was the last few paragraphs, the ending perked me up a bit on the horror side of things. 2 stars. Overall, this one just wasn’t for me.
Cheating (Parisa Syrus): The story started out interesting, but it became obvious early that english was a second language for the author. As we got into things, I began to feel as if the story was more a diary entry than a fictional erotic or horror tale. The tense shifted about in a few places, making me reread some areas a few times to make sure I was still following the story. Underneath all this, there was an interesting sort of “going insane” feel to the tale as it went along. Sadly, that was fleeting. The ending did nothing for me, felt lackluster and incomplete. I’m not sure where the horror was or the erotica for that matter. 2 stars. I’m being generous because I kinda liked the “lunatic is in my head” bits.
MORE TO COME…
Many of you know I have a pen name that I use when writing more “adult oriented” stories. Since I have this blog, and what I consider a respectable following, I thought a long time about how I would go about creating and marketing a platform for my alter ego. I didn’t want a mirror of this site, and I definitely needed to do something to allow me to market those works without worrying over the possibility of offending someone of a more delicate nature on this site.
So, what I came up with is Bex Book Nook – a book review blog and resting place for Ms. R. Brennan (my more fun, more outrageous alter ego) I have done a few reviews on this site, and the first one I posted there is a re post of the review I did on this site, but that is where the commonalities will end.
My reviews will be posted there when I complete them. This site shall remain my WIP writing as a lifestyle/career site — with the occasional story about what silly thing my family or friends did thrown in for good measure.
Anyway, I look forward to seeing some of my followers over there. Not only to see what sort of person lies behind the soft spoken, sweet persona I usually portray to the world, but also for some blunt reviews of all sorts of fantastic new books. 😛
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I checked this one out, I did so mostly because it had a cool looking cover and I was into reading some horror type works. I didnt know going in what sort of tale I was getting into. Once I realized it was a vampire story, I was a bit worried, as they are not usually my kind of thing.
But I have to say that I really and thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters, especially the MC, Two were vibrant and interesting. Christopher’s writing style is active and engaging. I even fell in love with the male lead (yummy and dark — my kinda guy) and other prominent characters in the “family”.
The beginning of the book really drew me in and got my sympathy for Two going right off the bat. Heroine addict and abused prostitute in a bad situation — easy to root for an underdog like that.
As the story progresses, we get a more detailed look at the vampire family that Two has been brought into — Her Master (maker), Thereon is easy to fall for, as are the other siblings in the clan.
There were parts of this one that actually made me cry (so not going to spoil anything) and I haven’t read a book that could do that in a long time.
Will definitely be checking out the next in this series, Blood Hunt, which is due for release later this month.
I highly recommend this one if you enjoy vamp tales. However, I would say this is NOTHING like the Twighlight vamps — so if that is what you are looking for — this may not be the book for you.
Welcome to the Book Nook.
Hopefully this will be your favorite place for honest book reviews from a sometimes blunt, funny, fellow reader and (erotica) writer.
I’m open to reviewing anything with a good story. Like anyone, I do have genre preferences. Those would be erotica (obviously), romance of all kinds, fantasy, and horror. About the only thing I have found I don’t enjoy reading is Sci-fi, but if the story is strong enough, I am willing to give it a shot.
As I mentioned, I write erotica — so this site will contain adult themes and candid language, so you must be 18 years old to visit. (Sorry)
If you are not comfortable with an adult friendly and oriented site, the door is to your right. *pleasant smile* It was a pleasure meeting you, if only briefly.
For everyone else, sit back, relax and pull up a book.